Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Panic Attack

I had an anxiety attack at work. This is unusual for me. As in, I've never had one of these before that I can remember.

It wasn't a stressful day at work. In fact, it was a rather easy day. I wasn't overloaded, but when I felt it building up, I began to put unnecessary work pressure on myself. My coworker had to do a little food prep, so I was doing both jobs...covering until he came back in 5-10 minutes. It felt like forever.

I remembered to breathe, and I knew the panic I felt was all in my head. I kept reassuring myself that it would pass and not to freak out. Breathe again, John.

For the record, fuck self-awareness if it doesn't help you. That just makes the event that much more frustrating and awful. Great...I am completely aware of that fact that my brain is manufacturing all this anxiety for no good reason and I can do nothing about it but continue to work in silence. Silent on the outside, screaming on the inside.

My coworker came back and started apologizing that he took so long. "You look upset, I'm sorry it took longer than I thought."
Me: "No, you were fine. I'm having a fucking panic attack, man. I need some air."
Him: "Dude, go. I got this."

I went to the bathroom, splashed water on my face. Then I walked outside, lit up a cigarette...and then broke down crying for no good reason. By the time I finished the cigarette, it was gone. I went back inside and worked for 4 more hours without incident.

I almost believe part of me staged a riot within the rest of me just so the collective me good take a smoke break. Seems a bit extreme. I don't think Marlboro cures anxiety, though.

That was...well, it was.

I'm trying not to dwell too much on this episode. I think my friend is right. "The pathways in my brain responsible for ______ aren't used to functioning without the aid of one chemical or another." The blank was about human interaction as I have an issue with holding a conversation with most people for longer than a couple of minutes before I get restless and irritated. I think it fits with most things I do every day. I'm coming up on 9 months clean and sober. I don't particularly like the idea of not being able to deal with something, though. My feelings are that I've been through enough bullshit...I should be able to deal with the little bit that I have going on now, right?



Sometimes there is no lesson learned. It's not always about "growth" or "breaking through to the next level". Sometimes you just freak out for no good reason.